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Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 2 blog entries contributed to teamblogs
Using Animal Oracle Cards to Discover Your Animals

A popular method for finding your Animals of the Heart is with animal oracle cards. While there are many fine decks, they are all limited in both the types and number of animals that they feature. Moreover, most decks are mammal-centric. Birds are usually represented by “Crow (or Raven),” “Eagle,” “Hawk,” “Hummingbird,” and “Owl.” Reptiles are limited to “Lizard,” “Snake,” and “Turtle.” Insects (and related others) are “Bee,” “Dragonfly,” and “Spider.”

Therefore, I would recommend a world-oriented deck since they will feature a wider range of animals. The methods that I suggest can work with most decks. Many popular decks tend to be North American specific, with a sprinkling of world animals. There are special themed decks which focus on Australian animals, birds, pets and other related topics. If you feel strongly about a certain grouping, then use those specialty decks.

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We Got Us a Goddess

(Tune: If I Had a Hammer)

 

We got us a Goddess

she got us in the morning

she got us in the evening

all over this land

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White Handle

It's part of the ABCs of modern witchcraft: Athame-Boline-Cup.

Boline (also bolline, bolleen): a nice, mysterious, witchy word. Where I come from, it rhymes with "so mean," but maybe in your valley they say it differently.

White-hilted, to the athame's black. For practical, instead of ritual work. That's how I learned it. Different valleys, different ways.

In a sense, it's a case of mistaken identity.

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When Community Fails

My friend’s mother died this past spring.

The stroke happened suddenly and her passing came a few weeks later.  Despite a lot of preparation for a worst-case scenario, the death hit the family hard.  My friend had a difficult relationship with her mother (something many of us can relate to, I’m sure) and her ambivalent thoughts and emotions have been complicating an already difficult grieving process.

My friend announced her mother’s illness to our group, but she kept the news of her mother’s passing to herself.  She had been out of town a lot to be with family, and it was only recently that I saw my friend since her family tragedy. 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Ann Edwards
    Ann Edwards says #
    I was interested in your comment "I as a priestess, did not show up at funerals..." Did you as a friend show up?
  • Anna Helvie
    Anna Helvie says #
    From 2002 to 2012, it was mixed. A coven member's father died and we did not go to the funeral. At that time it was because we we
  • Anna Helvie
    Anna Helvie says #
    My impression is that greater Pagandom has a substantial number of people who don't do well with these types of things, and that o
  • Anna Helvie
    Anna Helvie says #
    I meant "bring in a social worker who understands the nuances of bereavement and has specialty skills in this topic."
  • Ann Edwards
    Ann Edwards says #
    I'm sorry but this story struck me as almost a description of modern paganism. Events, celebrations, connections... but no true c

 

Many Pagans, Wiccans, Polythesists, and others today mark Lughnasadh (pronounced LOO-nuh-sah or loo-NAH-suh; also sometimes called Lammas from the Christianized "loaf mass") on August 1 or August 2 in the northern hemisphere and on February 1-2 in the southern. Some eclectic traditions mark Lughnasadh according to the full Moon that is closest to August 1.Others celebrate it on the nearest weekend for convenience, especially if doing group or public ritual.

The roots of Lughnasadh come from old Celtic traditions, i.e., the Irish, Scot, Manx, Cornish, Welsh, and Breton peoples and probably from those of the Isle of Man as well. Many celebrants today follow traditional agricultural markers (based on extant records, folklore, etc.) rather than calendar dates when timing celebrations. Those practicing Celtic reconstructionist Druidism may locate Lughnasadh according to the appearance of the first late summer fruits or the first grain harvest in their home area. Here in the Pacific northwest, modern CRs use the blackberries to time agricultural Lughnasadh, while CRs on the east coast tend to use blueberries. For most modern practitioners, the emphasis is most often on the rhythms of life in one’s home area rather than on the calendar. For instance, rather than marking Beltaine on May 1, many CRs celebrate it once the hawthorn—or the appropriate local white-flowering tree—blooms. In CR practices, the sacred and mundane are not separate, and the most mundane daily activity is every bit as sacred as the carefully planned “high ritual.” Daily life is a form of spiritual practice, and hospitality is one of the most highly valued of these expressions.

According to Irish mythos, Lughnasadh marks a funeral celebration and feast thrown by the God Lugh (pronounced LOO) in honor of his foster mother, Tailtiu. Legend claims that she cleared much of Ireland’s plains to allow for farms to be started, after which she collapsed and died. (Yeah—I’d be tired, too.) The funeral games were subsequently called the Tailtin/Tailtiun games in her honor. Interestingly, because so many healthy, vigorous young people appeared for the games, Lughnasadh also became known as a prime time to make matches-- of the romantic rather than the gaming time-- with many handfastings following.

In folkloric terms—and those of traditional calendar customs—Lughnasadh more or less always marks the harvest of the local berries and of the first ripening grains.

Traditionalists may celebrate Lughnasadh in several ways, including some or all of the following:

1. The celebration is invariably communal. It was typical of the ancient Celtic peoples to gather as communities or even come from great distances for major celebrations, and this was often especially true at Lughnasadh as the weather tended to be better in summer than at the other cross-quarter holidays (although, the needs of one’s farm or animals always limited some from long periods of travel). The celebrations included feasting, games and tourneys (especially horse racing), and ritual fires.

2. The ancient Gods are appeased and thanked with offerings from the first harvest and with ritual. Lugh and Tailtiu, in particular, are often honored honored. Danu, the Irish mother goddess, is often mentioned at Lughnasadh as a benefactress.

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SorryHello out there in blog land....

I'm going to quit apologizing for having problems maintaining this blog. And then I'm going to try harder to maintain this blog. You heard it here. We have a hero's journey to finish after all. :)  But first, Lughnasadh....

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On Psychic Readings

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